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The Leafs defenceman are not terrible that is a myth

Initial Creation Date: Jan 9, 2020
Published: Jan 9 at 5:32 pm
Team: 2019-20 Toronto Maple Leafs
Team Explanation
Does anyone who says the Leafs defence is terrible actually watch any of the games? If we use the most recent game against Winnipeg as the example, its hard to argue that TO is bad at defence, all 3 goals were caused by a forward making a poor decision at the oppositions blueline or it was just a bad luck play.

In fact in most of the recent games I've seen, that is the cause of most if not all the goals against. When TO is getting back on defence organized, they keep the shots to the outside and protect the front of the net.

Clean up those poor decisions on the opposition blueline and a lot of people will have to eat crow.
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2020
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VGK
TOR
CAR
COL
EDM
SJS
STL
WPG
2021
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
2022
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES BONUSESCAP SPACE
21$81,500,000$81,297,143$0$70,000$202,857
Left WingCenterRight Wing
TOR
Hyman, Zach
$2,250,000
LW
NTC
UFA - 2
TOR
Matthews, Auston
$11,634,000
C
UFA - 5
TOR
Marner, Mitchell
$10,893,000
RW
UFA - 6
TOR
Kerfoot, Alexander
$3,500,000
C, LW
UFA - 4
TOR
Tavares, John
$11,000,000
C
NMC
UFA - 6
TOR
Nylander, William
$6,962,366
RW, C
UFA - 5
TOR
Johnsson, Andreas
$3,400,000
LW
UFA - 4
TOR
Engvall, Pierre
$925,000
LW, RW
RFA - 1
TOR
Kapanen, Kasperi
$3,200,000
RW
RFA - 3
TOR
Gauthier, Frédérik
$675,000
C
RFA - 1
TOR
Spezza, Jason
$700,000
C, RW
NTC
UFA - 1
TOR
Moore, Trevor
$775,000
RW, LW
RFA - 2
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
TOR
Rielly, Morgan
$5,000,000
LD
UFA - 3
TOR
Barrie, Tyson
$2,750,000
RD
UFA - 1
TOR
Andersen, Frederik
$5,000,000
G
NTC
UFA - 2
TOR
Muzzin, Jake
$4,000,000
LD
UFA - 1
TOR
Holl, Justin
$675,000
RD
UFA - 1
TOR
Hutchinson, Michael
$700,000
G
UFA - 1
TOR
Dermott, Travis
$863,333
LD
RFA - 1
TOR
Ceci, Cody
$4,500,000
RD
UFA - 1
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TOR
Timashov, Dmytro
$694,444
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RFA - 1
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Horton, Nathan
$5,300,000
RW
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TOR
Clarkson, David
$5,250,000
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Mikheyev, Ilya
$925,000
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Jan 9 at 5:54
#1
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 307
Likes: 149
I feel like Tavares is involved in quite some goals against lately. I'm not a Leafs fan and aren't watching a lot of them. But when I see the highlights, I feel like he's on the ice often at goals against and with quite some turnovers leading to the goal. I'm probably wrong though
Jan 9 at 5:59
#2
Ayres for President
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 683
Likes: 166
Our blue line (healthy) is quite decent this year. Next year will be the problem.
Jan 9 at 6:00
#3
Ayres for President
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 683
Likes: 166
Quoting: WellIDK
I feel like Tavares is involved in quite some goals against lately. I'm not a Leafs fan and aren't watching a lot of them. But when I see the highlights, I feel like he's on the ice often at goals against and with quite some turnovers leading to the goal. I'm probably wrong though


Actually, you're not entirely wrong. He's having a rough year.
Jan 9 at 6:02
#4
Lucic Apologist
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,342
Likes: 484
I feel like the narrative is more along the lines of the Leafs are not great defensively, that starts with the guys on the blue line but obviously is not the be all end all, their team defense isn't great which lines up with exactly what you're saying. Toronto had one guy mentioned in the Selke race and he was 14th in voting behind guys like Cierelli, Backlund, Bonino, if you added a defensively strong C to the bottom six I think it changes a lot of things. The blue line is not terrible you are correct, but the team defense is not good.
oneX, Sign_em_up000000 and ChiHawk liked this.
Jan 9 at 6:12
#5
Thread Starter
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,720
Likes: 3,916
Quoting: WellIDK
I feel like Tavares is involved in quite some goals against lately. I'm not a Leafs fan and aren't watching a lot of them. But when I see the highlights, I feel like he's on the ice often at goals against and with quite some turnovers leading to the goal. I'm probably wrong though


He was at fault for the 2nd goal last night and plays against the oppositions best so that will lead to goals against at times.
Jamiepo liked this.
Jan 9 at 6:16
#6
Thread Starter
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,720
Likes: 3,916
Quoting: SmugTkachuk
I feel like the narrative is more along the lines of the Leafs are not great defensively, that starts with the guys on the blue line but obviously is not the be all end all, their team defense isn't great which lines up with exactly what you're saying. Toronto had one guy mentioned in the Selke race and he was 14th in voting behind guys like Cierelli, Backlund, Bonino, if you added a defensively strong C to the bottom six I think it changes a lot of things. The blue line is not terrible you are correct, but the team defense is not good.


Again that is wrong. It's not the team defence it's turnovers in the offensive zone. When the puck is deep and the opposition starts heading up ice, TO has turned into a very good team that can appear to be not good because they let teams cycle on the outside for stretches. However, they don't chase like they used to and they keep shots to the outside. To my eyes, the recent goals against have been happening when they hold the puck too long in the offensive zone and then turn it over at the opponent's Blueline when 3 or 4 Leafs are deeper in the zone, odd man rushes lead to great chances and they get scored on. It's getting less and less but it happens too much still. If they cut those turnovers down to almost never they will win a lot of games where they don't allow many goals. It's not the defenceman, it's not the defensive game plan or team defence. It's carelessness in the offensive zone and that can be fixed rather easily.
Jan 9 at 6:26
#7
Who adds what?
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 10,075
Likes: 1,758
The Leafs are tied with Chicago for 21st in GA/GP. Their goalie is great. Their defensemen are great.

Yeah, that's probably all on John Tavares. Glad we figured that out.
Jan 9 at 6:36
#8
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 3,109
Likes: 1,793
Quoting: SmugTkachuk
I feel like the narrative is more along the lines of the Leafs are not great defensively, that starts with the guys on the blue line but obviously is not the be all end all, their team defense isn't great which lines up with exactly what you're saying. Toronto had one guy mentioned in the Selke race and he was 14th in voting behind guys like Cierelli, Backlund, Bonino, if you added a defensively strong C to the bottom six I think it changes a lot of things. The blue line is not terrible you are correct, but the team defense is not good.


Your not wrong, but in all fairness the team is playing much better defensively since Keef took over. They haven't had much time to get acclimated with his system yet but they're definitely making improvements. Next year we will likely be much better defensively than this year. Heck Keef even got AM to buy in and put more effort into his defensive play.
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Jan 9 at 6:37
#9
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 7,478
Likes: 1,799
Edited Jan 9 at 6:49
Quoting: SmugTkachuk
I feel like the narrative is more along the lines of the Leafs are not great defensively, that starts with the guys on the blue line but obviously is not the be all end all, their team defense isn't great which lines up with exactly what you're saying. Toronto had one guy mentioned in the Selke race and he was 14th in voting behind guys like Cierelli, Backlund, Bonino, if you added a defensively strong C to the bottom six I think it changes a lot of things. The blue line is not terrible you are correct, but the team defense is not good.


100% spot on. Team defense is bad. The game plan the Leafs put on the ice involves at least one player (not entirely unusual) if not two players (highly unusual) on the offense cherry picking at the blue line or in the neutral zone when the puck is in their own zone. This leads to some great attempts in the offensive zone but poor team defense in the defensive zone. It's pretty obvious, like last night, what they are trying to do with guys cheating and not playing both zones. Seen this movie before with multiple teams....adds for exciting hockey and lots of goals (both for and against) but fails in the playoffs.

All that said, the defenders are actually doing a pretty decent job lately.

In Chicago, we see this the way Kane plays the game, although lately he has been getting more involved defensively but season stats show Kane on the ice for plenty of goals against. You just hope he has more goals for when he's on the ice and that has been the case but doesn't always work out.
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Jan 9 at 6:51
#10
Hugh Hefner of CF
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 3,522
Likes: 2,144
I am huge Tavares fan and even I can admit hes not having a good year so far

Besides Barrie, Leafs D has been better than expected IMO.
Jan 9 at 7:10
#11
GM - Avalanche
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 4,236
Likes: 910
I think the Leafs actually have one of the better defencemen cores in the NHL with Reilly, Barrie, Muzzen, Holl, Dermott and Ceci and totally agree with your posting heading that the Leafs Defencmen are not terrible. The problem is actually that the Leafs team defense is poor which is the trade off for their team offensive probably being the best in the entire NHL. As a fan of hockey, I think it is a good trade-off for the regular season because the firewagon hockey played by the Leafs brings back memories of the great Montreal Canadians teams during the 1970's.
Sheldon Keefe is not really sweating the weaker Leafs team defensive game during the regular season because he knows that the Leafs player's will buy in to play a tighter defensive game in the play-off at the sacrifice of team offense because all his players will only be playing for wins and not goals and assists in order to get their names on the Cup.

Would be really interested in Lauden's comments on this post because he is so positive and enlightening to the rest of us on Capfriendly.
Jan 9 at 7:57
#12
Ayres for President
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 683
Likes: 166
Quoting: Eli
The Leafs are tied with Chicago for 21st in GA/GP. Their goalie is great. Their defensemen are great.

Yeah, that's probably all on John Tavares. Glad we figured that out.


Great sarcasm.

The Pens are one of the best teams in the NHL in goals against right now, and their defense currently comprises Chad Ruhwedel, Juuso Riikola, Jack Johnson, a player obtained for a sixth round pick (John Marino), and Marcus Pettersson.

The thing is, there's more to it than just the d-men on the roster. Like the team's defensive system, as others pointed out. All else equal, I'd take the Leafs' blue line before that of the Jets, or the Pens for that matter.

Nobody said that Tavares had all the blame for the Leafs' GA. Yet the fact is, his line was the one matched against top opposition all season long last year, and was rather successful at it. Keefe had to break it apart recently, because it's just not working this year. No doubt he'll bounce back. But not having a designated centre to match the other teams' stars certainly doesn't help this season.
Jan 9 at 8:03
#13
Go Boltz! & Go Avs!
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 330
Likes: 66
Who needs defense here? Huh? We are talking about offensive firepower here in the 1st round of the Stanley-Cup playoffs...

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs

popcorn popcorn popcorn Who wins? Make your bets guys! It's gonna be fun! 10 goals/game - Let the better team win! popcorn popcorn popcorn
Eli liked this.
Jan 9 at 8:04
#14
Who adds what?
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 10,075
Likes: 1,758
" If we use the most recent game against Winnipeg as the example, its hard to argue that TO is bad at defence, all 3 goals were caused by a forward making a poor decision at the oppositions blueline or it was just a bad luck play."

Quoting: WellIDK
I feel like Tavares is involved in quite some goals against lately. I'm not a Leafs fan and aren't watching a lot of them. But when I see the highlights, I feel like he's on the ice often at goals against and with quite some turnovers leading to the goal. I'm probably wrong though


Quoting: Sign_em_up000000
Your not wrong....


Quoting: PleaseBanMeForMyOwnGood
He was at fault for the 2nd goal last night...


......


......


......


Quoting: leaflet

Nobody said that Tavares had all the blame for the Leafs' GA.


Good point. Thanks. smile
Jan 9 at 8:31
#15
Thread Starter
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,720
Likes: 3,916
Quoting: Eli
The Leafs are tied with Chicago for 21st in GA/GP. Their goalie is great. Their defensemen are great.

Yeah, that's probably all on John Tavares. Glad we figured that out.


Not sure where that is coming from, but when the majority of goals against are coming off turnovers in the offensive zone, usually committed by forwards, it's not the defenceman who are to blame. When the team is back and in position they don't allow many in close shots anymore. It's odd man rushes that cause the damage. Cutting that down will make all the difference.
Eli liked this.
Jan 9 at 8:34
#16
Who adds what?
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 10,075
Likes: 1,758
Quoting: PleaseBanMeForMyOwnGood
Not sure where that is coming from, but when the majority of goals against are coming off turnovers in the offensive zone, usually committed by forwards, it's not the defenceman who are to blame. When the team is back and in position they don't allow many in close shots anymore. It's odd man rushes that cause the damage. Cutting that down will make all the difference.


That is one solution. Another option is to get defensemen who can stop a rush.
Jan 9 at 8:36
#17
Thread Starter
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,720
Likes: 3,916
Quoting: Eli
" If we use the most recent game against Winnipeg as the example, its hard to argue that TO is bad at defence, all 3 goals were caused by a forward making a poor decision at the oppositions blueline or it was just a bad luck play."







......


......


......




Good point. Thanks. smile


So you are taking an isolated game and blowing it up into me blaming Tavares for everything. Not sure what your end game is here but it's probably pointless.
Jan 9 at 8:37
#18
Who adds what?
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 10,075
Likes: 1,758
Quoting: PleaseBanMeForMyOwnGood
So you are taking an isolated game and blowing it up into me blaming Tavares for everything. Not sure what your end game is here but it's probably pointless.


No goals. Just having a conversation. Probably reading way too much into everything, but it seemed like everybody in the thread was ragging on the captain.
Jan 9 at 8:38
#19
Thread Starter
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,720
Likes: 3,916
Quoting: Eli
That is one solution. Another option is to get defensemen who can stop a rush.


Who is going to stop McDavid when he does a move like he did the other night? Who's going to stop a 3 on one with 3 30+ goal scorers coming down. Odd man rushes are never easy to defend and any defenceman is at a huge disadvantage when they get caught on one. That is just a dumb and thoughtless response. Go troll someone else, I thought much higher of you than this nonsense.
Jan 9 at 8:39
#20
Thread Starter
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,720
Likes: 3,916
Quoting: F3ruS
Who needs defense here? Huh? We are talking about offensive firepower here in the 1st round of the Stanley-Cup playoffs...

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs

popcorn popcorn popcorn Who wins? Make your bets guys! It's gonna be fun! 10 goals/game - Let the better team win! popcorn popcorn popcorn


Should he a fun one.
Jan 10 at 2:04
#21
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 3,137
Likes: 1,378
Edited Jan 10 at 5:52
Arent they adorable.....the homers......


Quoting: Eli
That is one solution. Another option is to get defensemen who can stop a rush.


Are you nuts ? Coming here to a homers gathering and telling them something isnt 100% in their Team. Screw the stats ( we use them only when it fits us ) which are :
GA 23rd.....SA 27th.....SCA 22nd......PK 25th


Pull your sh.t together and get your homework done cause :

Keefe = best coach ever entered NHL ( ignore that hes running TOP 3 Offensive core in the League, tho i give him he isnt afraid to adjust the tactics ingame according to situation )
Matthews > McDavid ( thats why his 5 x 11,634M are justified and if you translate McDs contract into 5 years would be around 11,8M signed into 2019 but watch Matthews sniff 100 points first in ARI )
Mikheyev = next P.Datsyuk
Engvall = next P.Forsberg
Rielly = better in his own zone then Hedman ( i thought Ds should be valuated by playing defence but i was wrong thru all my years of playing on pro level here in Europe )
Barrie = better in his own zone then Josi ( same as above )
Holl = next Lidström playing for 2M
Dermott = next Lidström playing for 2,5M
Andersen = is having each night off, playing leisure Games and not standing on head even if its 53 SA per Game, for all 70 of them
Hutchinson = on the pace of 7 shutouts and turning into next Hasek

and thats only a few things that you should know, i could tell you more but in your ignorance you wouldnt understand

This is LEAGUE'S BEST TEAM OF THE CENTURY and Cup is ours for next three years ( at least ), so shut it or we will come for you ( tho i will wear only a TML T-shirt, OP already stripped me of jersey for not being a homer with blue blinders on )
F3ruS liked this.
Jan 10 at 8:59
#22
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 150
Likes: 35
The problem with the leafs dmen is that they are not good at the defensive game. Take for instance Morgan and Barrie.
Jan 10 at 9:29
#23
best poster
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 1,833
Likes: 1,040
Toronto's defensive strategy has been a lot better under Keefe, but there is definitely room for all around improvement. Since he took over Toronto's 9th in GA, 12th in PK% yet 18th in SA.

Quoting: Laudan
Arent they adorable.....the homers......


What's it like having a melted brain?
Jan 10 at 9:30
#24
Thread Starter
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,720
Likes: 3,916
Quoting: TooMalevolent
The problem with the leafs dmen is that they are not good at the defensive game. Take for instance Morgan and Barrie.


Morgan Rielly is not bad at defence, he is more offensive and takes chances and that sometimes can cause you to get burned but he's an elite #1 defenceman. Hes been injured this season which has been difficult to deal with for him I think but he's fine. Muzzin is extremely good defensively, Holl has been a revelation and Dermot has been quite good as well. Its not the defence, or the team defensive play that hurts this team. Its carelessness in the offensive zone that causes odd man rushes the other way that burns this team. When they are back defending they just allow shots to the outside. If anyone bothers to watch the games, the defenceman are rarely to blame for goals. Ceci sucks though,.
Jan 10 at 9:32
#25
Thread Starter
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,720
Likes: 3,916
Quoting: mondo
Toronto's defensive strategy has been a lot better under Keefe, but there is definitely room for all around improvement. Since he took over Toronto's 9th in GA, 12th in PK% yet 18th in SA.

What's it like having a melted brain?


The Islanders are the best or second best team for goals against and one of the worst for shots against. No one should worry about shots against, especially when they are coming from the outside. Andersen can stop those all day.

As for the guy who is chirping homers, I am convinced he's a fan of a different team posing as a Leafs fan. He only complains and insults leaf fans. He's a joke.
 
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